Hansel & Gretel with Scottish Ballet and Blythswood Square
In all the time I've been blogging, I've never had a guest post before! Today is the day though! I was recently invited to go to a day out for bloggers at Blythswood Square. Sadly in the week leading up to it, I ended up with bronchitis and as the event involved going to the ballet (and no one likes people who cough all the way through!), my lovely friend Nicola went in my place! Nicola is in a great band called The Precious Penny Pluckers – you should check them out on soundcloud! Here is her post about the day, alongside some of the press photos.
When Briony asked me both 'Are you free on Saturday?' and 'Do you like ballet?' in quick succession, I was puzzled. Answering 'Yes' and 'Yes, I think I do', I soon found that Briony was offering I go to the Scottish Ballet's Hansel and Gretel event at Blythswood Square in place of her since she was ill. Truth be told, my only experience of ballet was a long time ago and I was far too young to appreciate it. I only remember it being a terribly long affair and wondering why there was not a single word of spoken dialogue.
And yet, I was about to find that ballet is a whole lot more glamorous than men in tights and isn't something solely for those of a certain class. Ballet is glitter and beauty and drama. And blimey, the dancers work so incredibly hard as we found out in the pre-show behind the scenes screening Q&A section.
Welcomed with a cocktail at the beautiful and exquisite Blythswood Square hotel and spa, my first thought was 'I feel like a princess.' I just knew the day was going to be lavish and luxurious from the sheer beauty of the venue alone. It wasn't long till we ushered to the quaint hotel cinema where we watched behind the scenes footage of the ballet. It was interesting to see that the ideas for the characters and set design were inspired by real school children's ideas and perceptions of the traditional fairytale.
On to the Q&A over afternoon tea. Wowee. Cakes and tea a-plenty. On display were the MAC face charts, and whilst I'd love to say I'd try these make up looks at home as they're so beautiful, they're just made for the theatre. Really extravagant and dramatic. The costumes on display were also extremely beautiful! The Q&A showcased the dancers and it was interesting to see how much work is put it into the show behind the scenes. I genuinely appreciated the show more so for this! Off to the ballet...but not before a hand and arm massage courtesy of the spa. Delightful!
Equipped with a bag of sweet things for the show and a drinks voucher for the bar, we hopped in taxis to the Theatre Royal. We took our seats and the lights went down...
Wow! From the music to the performance and costumes to the set design, it was amazing! The dancers had so much skill and their performances had so much character. I loved the witch, and Hansel and Gretel's parents were great to watch! The dancer's dancing to portray the dad drunkenly stumbling home was probably my favourite part along with seeing the mother and father's night unfold as they danced around the kitchen to signify their turbulent relationship. If only we all danced to convey how we feel...life would be a whole lot more interesting!
I'll be honest in saying that I didn't know what to expect from the ballet but it's, without a doubt, something I'd love to experience again! Thank you, Scottish Ballet and Blythswood Square. - You really did spoil a girl on a Saturday afternoon!
Thanks Nicola for your guest post! If you want to check out Hansel & Gretel it's now touring Scotland – Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and then moving onto Newcastle and Belfast. Check out the dates here. There's also a live website cast from a couple of weeks ago to watch here. You can visit Blythswood Square for their delicious afternoon tea – check out the details on their website.